Key Disciplines Laboratory Clinical Medicine of Henan

Zhengzhou, China

Key Disciplines Laboratory Clinical Medicine of Henan

Zhengzhou, China
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Zhang L.,Key Disciplines Laboratory Clinical Medicine of Henan | Zhang L.,Zhengzhou University | Fang Y.,Key Disciplines Laboratory Clinical Medicine of Henan | Fang Y.,Zhengzhou University | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

An emerging body of data suggests that the early onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with decreased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Because BDNF plays a critical role in the regulation of high-frequency synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the hippocampus, the up-regulation of BDNF may rescue cognitive impairments and learning deficits in AD. In the present study, we investigated the effects of hippocampal BDNF in a rat model of AD produced by a ventricle injection of amyloid-β1-42 (Aβ1-42). We found that a ventricle injection of Aβ1-42 caused learning deficits in rats subjected to the Morris water maze and decreased BDNF expression in the hippocampus. Chronic intra-hippocampal BDNF administration rescued learning deficits in the water maze, whereas infusions of NGF and NT-3 did not influence the behavioral performance of rats injected with Aβ1-42. Furthermore, the BDNF-related improvement in learning was ERK-dependent because the inhibition of ERK, but not JNK or p38, blocked the effects of BDNF on cognitive improvement in rats injected with Aβ1-42. Together, our data suggest that the up-regulation of BDNF in the hippocampus via activation of the ERK signaling pathway can ameliorate Aβ1-42-induced learning deficits, thus identifying a novel pathway through which BDNF protects against AD-related cognitive impairments. The results of this research may shed light on a feasible therapeutic approach to control the progression of AD. © 2015 Zhang et al.


Zhang L.,Key Disciplines Laboratory Clinical Medicine of Henan | Zhang L.,Zhengzhou University | Fang Y.,Key Disciplines Laboratory Clinical Medicine of Henan | Fang Y.,Zhengzhou University | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Curcumin, the most active component of turmeric, has various beneficial properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor effects. Previous studies have suggested that curcumin reduces the levels of amyloid and oxidized proteins and prevents memory deficits and thus is beneficial to patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying curcumin's effect on cognitive functions are not well-understood. In the present study, we examined the working memory and spatial reference memory in rats that received a ventricular injection of amyloid-β1-42 (Aβ1-42), representing a rodent model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The rats treated with Aβ1-42 exhibited obvious cognitive deficits in behavioral tasks. Chronic (seven consecutive days, once per day) but not acute (once a day) curcumin treatments (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) improved the cognitive functions in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the beneficial effect of curcumin is accompanied by increased BDNF levels and elevated levels of phosphorylated ERK in the hippocampus. Furthermore, the cognition enhancement effect of curcumin could be mimicked by the overexpression of BDNF in the hippocampus and blocked by either bilateral hippocampal injections with lentiviruses that express BDNF shRNA or a microinjection of ERK inhibitor. These findings suggest that chronic curcumin ameliorates AD-related cognitive deficits and that upregulated BDNF-ERK signaling in the hippocampus may underlie the cognitive improvement produced by curcumin. © 2015 Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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